April 30, 2011
The spring of 2011 is finally here and with it the start of what I hope will be another awesome season of fishing on the Long Island Sound! I spent the past few weeks preparing the Sweet Line and I finally put her in the water this past week and it felt great. First order of business was to try to get into some spring blackfish. Unfortunately the season closes April 30 and how good the spring bite is depends on the weather in April. If the water temps can warm into the lower 50's before the last day we usually get a decent bite. If not it can be slow. I went on a scout mission last weekend and with the water temps at about 44 degrees it was just too cold to produce any significant fish. But yesterday we were hovering around the 50 degree mark and it made quite a difference. We fished the ebb tide at a few of my various spring spots and had a slower but steady bite and brought a few quality togs over the rails. The fish aren't nearly as aggressive as they are in the fall and getting the feeling down for the subtle bite was the key to landing a fish for the table.
May 3, 2011
Today we got out on my buddy Murph's boat, the Isabella 2.1, which Murph has perfectly set up for fishing the Housatonic river. We had a few hours and decided to try to get into some of the schoolie stripers. The bite wasn't real hot but we ran into a few nice fish casting a variety of plastic and hard swim baits. They were super fun to catch and provided just the hold over I needed until the fluke show up. It should be any day now!
May 15, 2011 Fluke are here!
We had a fun and exciting day on the fluke grounds! We boated over 40 fluke in just a short 4 hour trip including 6 keepers and 2 fish at 24 inches. We had just perfect drift conditions and it certainly panned out for us. The fluke were hungry and actively feeding on the sand eels and readily striking any number of lures we were drifting pass them. Water temps were about 57 degrees. Now is a great time to get out there for these doormats and it should only get better as temperatures warm through June!
June 20, 2011 Fluke action has heated up again
Early June saw a bit of a lull in what is normally red hot fluke fishing. We fished as much as my schedule and the weather would allow with not many fish to show for it. Then I got sick and was off the water for about a week and a half. It was about time we got back into some decent fluke action and yesterday was the day. My first stop produced a keeper right off the bat but the next hour or so was slow so I went over to spot number 2 and found lots of bait, bluefish and fluke. It was another beautiful Monday on the water and we produced about 50 fluke with 4 to take home and a bunch of small but hard fighting bluefish for a little extra fun.
June 27, 2011 Epic day of Fluke fishing
With this past weekend of stormy weather and east winds I was determined to fish today and try to see and if I could again find the fluke we were catching last week. We certainly did. Today was probably one of the best days of fluke fishing I have ever had and epic is the only word to describe it. It was one of those days where all the conditions were right and as a result the catching was incredible. Although I lost count, I think we must have boated some 80-100 fluke with 10 keepers and one doormat at 27 inch and just shy of 7 pounds. I am HOPING this fluke fishing lasts into July and will definitely be making more trips. This day will be hard to top and we all made some great memories.
June 30, 2011 A few nice Bass
Although the fluke fishing has been great as of late, I went out this evening and tried to see if I could get a few stripers in the boat. We still have a good amount of bunker around and we spent the first hour of the trip gathering up a dozen or so to bring out to some of my bass spots. I was able to get lines in the water about and hour and a half before sunset and we enjoyed some good action for about 2 hours on bass from 30-40 inches. As soon as it got dark, though, the bite died but not before catching a releasing the first good stripers of the season. Either way, it was a great couple hours with some great fighting fish.
July 3, 2011 Great crew today
Today I brought T.J. and Jason and their sons Tate and Ben out for a morning trip to do some local fluke fishing. I must say that I have been very lucky to have great guests aboard the Sweet Line and these guys were awesome. We decided to make a morning trip and stay in the local waters because of the threat of rain and storms in the afternoon. Fluke conditions weren't the best as the west/ southwest wind was blowing us against the tide making for poor drift conditions. I made a number of moves and only managed a few fluke with one nice keeper. We got back into port just before the rain came. You guys were great and it was a pleasure having you on the water!
July 30, 2011 Tough recently but some nice summer Togs
July has been a tough month for fishing in the waters off milford. The bunker we had through June are gone and so are most of the bass and bluefish which were with them. This is certainly not characteristic of this time of the year. But, I still need to catch fish so when times get tough I turn to whats biting...summer blackfish! Yep, its great summer fishery which gets overlooked by many anglers and Ive been out there getting the rods doubled over with togs up to 22 inches. The bite is good and these fish are feeding with water temps in the low 70's this past week. I will be targeting blackfish primarily throughout august while keeping a sharp eye out for the return of some bass and blues.
August 8, 2011 Bass from out east
Last week I was able to get into blackfish on a couple trips when a few cooler nights we had let the water temps drop into the lower 70's. It was a great bite while it lasted but as the heat returned and water rose into the mid 70's the bite turned right off. Other than that, the local waters have been producing some big porgies and also some big gator bluefish.These fish are fighting very hard and I had one bite through a 45# steel leader after just a short fight. But with no bass to be found in the local waters I decided it was time to go east to Clinton and it was a good decision. I had the boat on the first drift by 0545 with live eels and had the first keeper on the boat by 0550. We then took advantage of a 0645 high tide to load up on some monster scup and returned to the rip to trade them in for 5 more big bass with the biggest being 44 inches and 32 pounds. Not a new world record but a quality fish for sure. With a boat limit of bass, we decided to finish the morning limiting out on big porgies. I cant wait to do it again.
September 2, 2011 All the bluefish you could ask for!
It feels real good to be back on the water. Between storms, windy days, a few sick days and then hurricanes, late August it has been tough to get out. Yesterday that all changed. I headed out to try a plethora of tactics to see what is going on in the western Sound. First, I spent a few hours bottom fishing and brought up a few nice scup and a pair of keeper seabass. It wasn't a real hot bite but steady and the seabass are delicious. Then the real action started as I ran west to find acres of birds working some small bait with loads of 3-7 lb bluefish gorging themselves on the surface and all the way through the water column. It was insane light tackle action and we were throwing a variety of swim plugs with everything being hit almost instantly. We literally had double hook ups on every drift for about 3 hours. As the sun set, I decided to change gears and set off to spot # 3 where I set out some fresh chunk bait. Within minutes, I had the drag screaming on 2 rods and brought a pair of 14 lb gators to the boat. Insane fishing and we literally left them biting today.
September 25, 2011 Bluefish bite remains good
The awesome top water bite associated with the bird action we have had out at the middle grounds has cooled off in the past week. There is still the occasional bait ball to be found with 3-5 lb blues to be caught. Instead, I have focused much of my time on either drifting eels, bucktails with pink curly grub teasers or trolling. All methods have been producing some large caliber bluefish into the 13 lb range. Although my bucktails have been taking a beating and I have fed countless plastics to the blues, the eel drifting has been the most fun. Last night, myself and a great new client Jim headed out and the eels didn't disappoint. I locked in on one drift where I was marking fish and hooked up nearly every drift. Jims shimano rod got a good workout. In addition, we experienced one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever witnessed on the LIS.
October 1st is just around the corner and I am pumped for blackfish. I hope this stretch of warm weather breaks so we can get the water temps down into the prime blackfish feeding zone. Either way, I have high hopes for togs this year. If you are interested in a daytime, rod bending October blackfish trip give me a call as I still have some good dates open.
October 1, 2011 Pick of Togs, Big bluefish
Today was the long awaited blackfish opener and we were out there to knock on the door at some of my local spots. The water is still quite warm hanging around the 70 degree mark which is a bit warm for an aggressive tog bite. I jumped around fishing a number of rock piles but after a few hours only had a handfull of fish after a slow bite. So, eager for some action, I pulled anchor and brought the crew for a ride and found bluefish up to 12 pounds willing to crash surface plugs for the next 2 hours. What a ball. Cool night are in the forecast and so is a hot tog bite.
October 6, 2011 We're into some blackfish now!
Headed out today with Brian and Lenny and we had a blast feeding asian crabs to hungry blackfish. I have been trying to schedule these guys for a while now but today we finally got out and we were rewarded with a fine day and a mess of fish. Brian started the day off with a quick keeper and Lenny quickly got the feel for the subtle hit and soon was bringing fish over the rails. Its a good thing I brought alot of bait because we ran into some exceptionally good bait stealers but my crew finally stuck most of them including one which had Brian running up to the bow to turn... a fat beast which had to be in the 8 pound class. Great day guys!
October 8, 2011 Its go time
We have been blessed this week with good weather, calm seas and great blackfishing. I really couldn't ask for anything more in October and today I had a fantastic time nailing togs with Esteban, Pierre and Robert. The four of us fished an entire 6 hours from start of the ebb tide at 0930. The bite started strong but slowed mid tide which was fine as we got to partake in some Firehouse deli grinders. Good call boys. I set us up on our third spot of the day and we fished it hard putting a total of 12 keepers in the boat with one fish at 22 inches and one at 23 inches. The last hour of the tide was the hottest and it was hard to call it a day. Yet another great trip with another outstanding crew!
November 26, 2011 It was a great season
Yesterday was a bittersweet day as I packed up all my gear for the winter, winterized the boat and engine and officially called an end to the 2011 saltwater season. I can't believe its been 7 months since I posted the first report for this year. Looking back, though, it turned out to be a great season. We caught a lot of fish and made some great memories. I am very thankful.
Over the past month and a half we had a spectacular blackfish bite despite some tricky weather. In fact, I think we caught more this season than any other I can remember. It was simply awesome. We also boated some real quality togs. We have had 6 or so fish over 23 inches and up to 9 pounds and countless fish in the 19-20 inch range. And again, I have had the best clients a charter Captain can ask for. I want to thank everyone who sailed with me this season. I hope you all had as much fun as I did. Here are a few pictures from October and November.